Behind the Scenes at UNGA: Focus on the Near East

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
September 30, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and officials from the State Department and other U.S. government agencies are attending meetings at the 67th meeting of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York from September 23 to October 1, 2012. Through a series of "Inside the State Department" videos, senior officials are providing perspectives on the events of the week.

On Friday, September 28, while in New York, Secretary Clinton hosted a G8 Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition Foreign Ministers Meeting and the Ad Hoc Friends of the Syrian People Ministerial. In the video above, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Esther Brimmer, State Department Director of Policy Planning Jake Sullivan, and State Department Spokesperson for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs Aaron Snipe discuss their work at UNGA.

Follow the State Department on Storify for more highlights from U.S. engagement at UNGA. A full list of Secretary Clinton's meetings can be found on the Department of State's public schedule. Please continue to follow our coverage of UN events via @StateDept and @USUN on Twitter as well as on and the USUN website.



Jeanette H.
Colorado, USA
October 15, 2012

Jeanette H. in Colorado writes:

There was an article in today's New York Times called "Private Security Hovers as Issue After Benghazi". The article references the problems that have arisen from the use of private contractors like Blackwater in the Middle East. As the Chair of the Sierra Club Land Use Committee in San Diego in 2008, we successfully fought a Blackwater attempt to build a quasi-military base in the San Diego backcountry. Blackwater has taken out permits in the counties surrounding San Diego as well, including Riverside and Imperial Valley, confirming an understanding presented by author Jeremy Scahill that President Bush started building the infrastructure needed to invade his own country.

But the subject of this letter is not the intentions of President Bush. It is the personality and character of the Blackwater employees; mercenary pay-for-hire killers that are recruited off the Internet with a promise to be "trained as an assassin in three days". Perhaps if we used our own devoted military men and women instead of private contractors, who are allowed to operate in an unregulated gray-area, we would experience a better reception in the Middle East.

-- October 13, 2012


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